Gentamicin exposure in the NICU does not affect hearing screen results
Gentamicin treatment in infants, regardless of dosing or duration, does not affect the risk of failing a hearing screen at the time of discharge from the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), a recent study has found.
The study included 84,808 infants who received gentamicin in the first 120 days of life, of whom 15 percent (n=12,593) were born very low birth weight (VLBW). Participants received an average daily dose of 3.8 mg/kg/day. The cumulative dose received and median duration of exposure was 12.1 mg/kg and 3 days, respectively.
The median cumulative daily dose received was significantly higher in those who failed than in those who passed (15.26 vs 12.08 mg/kg), though there was no difference in the highest daily dose administered (3.98 vs 3.96 mg/kg; p=0.21).
Of the participants, only 3.8 percent (n=3,238) failed the hearing screen. Multivariable adjusted logistic regression analysis showed that gentamicin exposure, measured as the average daily dose (odds ratio [OR], 1.01; 95 percent CI, 0.98–1.05; p=0.46), had no significant impact on the risk of failing the hearing screen.
The findings held true when exposure was measured as cumulative dose (OR, 1.00; 1.00–1.00; p=0.07), highest daily dose (OR, 0.99–1.05; p=0.20) and duration of exposure (OR, 1.01; 1.00–1.02; p=0.10).
A subgroup analysis on VLBW similarly showed that gentamicin exposure had generally no impact on hearing screen results (average daily dose: OR, 1.02; 0.97–1.07; p=0.54; highest daily dose: HR, 1.03; 0.99–1.07; p=0.13; duration of exposure: OR, 1.01; 0.99–1.02; p=0.26), except for when measured cumulative dose, though the magnitude of effect was minimal (OR, 1.00; 1.00–1.01; p=0.03).